Gay Disco Music History – July 7, 1979: France Joli Fills In For Donna Summer On Fire Island and Becomes A Star [Video]
Disco star France Joli literally lived the old “42nd Street” movie line dream “of you’re going out a youngster but you are coming back a star.”
Over 40 years ago on the hot summer night of July 7th. 1979 before an estimated audience of 5000 screaming gay men on Fire Island the 16 year old singer at the last minute was asked to fill in for Donna Summer at an all-star disco music concert.
Jolie remembers it vividly. “Sister Sledge was there. EVERYBODY was there!”
When it came time for her to perform. She stepped up to the microphone and began to sing, never realizing that she was about to turn the first major corner in her career and in the process steal the show from some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry. Seven minutes later, when she took her bows, the crowd went wild, flipping head over heals for this unknown Canadian teenager and proclaiming her, from that day forward, a star in the truest sense of the word.
“Come to Me” became the number one disco song of the summer, and the definitive Fire Island gay tea dance classic.